Monday, December 29, 2008

Pecos, TX: Riots Erupts in I.C.E Detention Center

On Dec. 12, some 1,300 federal prisoners staged an uprising at the privately run Reeves County Detention Center in Pecos, Texas, to demand better medical treatment after a detainee died at the facility, allegedly of natural causes. The Reeves County Detention Center has been run since 2003 by the GEO Group, based in Boca Raton, Florida, under contract with the federal government. The medium security prison holds more than 2,400 people, mainly inmates detained for immigration
law violations.

The uprising took place after the detainee's body was removed from the prison, Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper John Barton told the Pecos Enterprise. The prisoners set a fire in an exercise room at the facility and were evacuated to an outdoor yard, where they took two prison recreation workers hostage. The newspaper reported that firefighters had to extinguish bonfires inmates had set
to keep warm overnight.

About 30 agents from the Border Patrol's Marfa Sector were deployed to the detention center in response to the incident. The border agents
arrived with an assortment of less-than-lethal weapons, an armored vehicle and support from a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air &
Marine Huey helicopter. CBP used the helicopter to allow a prison official to conduct aerial surveillance of the compound. The border agents surrounded the facility and guarded the perimeter but apparently did not enter it. After about 17 hours, negotiators from the police department of Odessa, Texas managed to end the uprising and secure the release of the two hostages on the morning of Dec. 13.

Barton, the DPS trooper, said there were minor injuries during the standoff; he declined to say who or how many people were hurt. Patricia Dieschler, a DPS dispatcher in Pecos, said there were no injuries to responding law enforcement officers.


http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20081229124543614

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